Smith: Corbisiero nearing England return
November 11, 2012
England prop Alex Corbisiero is battling back from a knee injury © PA Photos
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith believes prop Alex Corbisiero will soon be pushing for a return to the England ranks.
The 24-year-old loose-head, who suffered a knee injury on England's summer tour of South Africa, made his first outing of the season in the Exiles' Anglo-Welsh Cup 34-28 victory over Sale Sharks on Sunday and put in a solid display before making way just past the hour mark.
Smith was impressed with his prop's return to action and believes he is one game from full-match fitness. "Alex has been in with the England camp so he knows what's going on there," Smith said.
"If he puts in another good performance against Leicester next week I'm sure he'll be throwing his hat in the ring for England if they feel that Joe Marler needs a rest."
Smith revealed that Corbisiero played for longer than originally intended to help Irish turn the match around after trailing 21-10 at half-time. "Had things been going better we would probably have only played him for the first 40 minutes," he said. "But we had half a dozen scrums on their line and he hung tough for us, but we got him out of the contest at the right point for him and for us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene